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Encyclopedia > Whale watching
Whale watching off the coast of Bar Harbor, Maine.
Whale watching off the coast of Bar Harbor, Maine.

Whale watching is the practice of observing whales and other cetaceans in their natural habitat. Whales are watched most commonly for recreation (cf. bird watching) but the activity can also be for scientific or educational reasons. Whilst individuals do organize private trips, whale watching is primarily a commercial activity, estimated to be worth up to $1billion per annum worldwide to whale watching operations and their local communities. The size and rapid growth of the whale watching industry has led to complex and unconcluded debates with the whaling industry about the best use of whales as a natural resource. Summary Tourists and locals enjoy whale watching off the coast of Bar Harbor, Maine. ... Summary Tourists and locals enjoy whale watching off the coast of Bar Harbor, Maine. ... Bar Harbor, Maine, it the name of two places in Maine Bar Harbor, census-designated place Bar Harbor a larger town This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title. ... A Fin whale The term whale is ambiguous: it can refer to all cetaceans, to just the larger ones, or only to members of particular families within the order Cetacea. ... Suborders Mysticeti Odontoceti (see text) The order Cetacea includes whales, dolphins and porpoises. ... Birding or birdwatching is a hobby concerned with the observation and study of birds (the study proper is termed American origin; birdwatching is (or more correctly, was) the commonly-used word in Great Britain and Ireland and by non-birders in the United States. ... The crew of the oceanographic research vessel Princesse Alice, of Albert Grimaldi (later Prince Albert I of Monaco) pose while flensing a catch. ...

Contents

History

Whale watching as an organized activity dates back to 1950 when the Cabrillo National Monument in San Diego was declared a public spot for the observation of Gray Whales. In 1955 the first water-based whale watching commenced in the same area, charging customers $1 per trip to view the whales at closer quarters. The spectacle proved popular, attracting 10,000 visitors in its first year and many more in subsequent years. The industry spread throughout the western coast of the United States over the following decade. Old Point Loma Lighthouse For the lighthouse in Mendocino County, California see Point Cabrillo Light. ... Flag Seal Nickname: Americas Finest City Location Location of San Diego within San Diego County Coordinates , Government County San Diego Mayor City Attorney         City Council District One District Two District Three District Four District Five District Six District Seven District Eight Jerry Sanders (R) Michael Aguirre Scott Peters Kevin... Binomial name Eschrichtius robustus Lilljeborg, 1861 Gray Whale range The Gray Whale or Grey Whale (Eschrichtius robustus), more recently called the Eastern Pacific Gray Whale, is a whale that travels between feeding and breeding grounds yearly. ... 1955 (MCMLV) was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


In 1971 the Montreal Zoological Society commenced the first commercial whale watching activity on the eastern side of North America, offering trips in the St. Lawrence River to view Fin and Beluga Whales. The Saint Lawrence River (French fleuve Saint-Laurent) is a large west-to-east flowing river in the middle latitudes of North America, connecting the Great Lakes with the Atlantic Ocean. ... Binomial name Balaenoptera physalus (Linneus, 1758) Fin Whale range The Fin Whale (Balaenoptera physalus), also called the Finback Whale, is a mammal which belongs to the baleen whales suborder. ... This article refers to the whale, beluga. ...


In the late 1970s the industry mushroomed in size thanks to operations in New England. By 1985 more visitors watched whales from New England than California. The rapid growth in this area has been attributed to the relatively dense population of Humpback Whales, whose acrobatic behaviour such as breaching (jumping out of the water) and tail-slapping was an obvious crowd-pleaser, and the close proximity of whale populations to the large cities on the east coast of the US. This article is about the region in the United States of America. ... Binomial name Megaptera novaeangliae (Borowski, 1781) Humpback Whale range The Humpback Whale, Megaptera novaeangliae, is a mammal which belongs to the baleen whale suborder. ...


Throughout the 1980s and 1990s whale watching spread throughout the world. In 1998 Erich Hoyt carried out the largest systematic study of whale watching yet undertaken and concluded that whale watching trips were now available in 87 countries around the world, with over 9 million participants generating an income to whale watcher operators and supporting infrastructure (such as accommodation, restaurants and souvenirs) of over one billion dollars. His estimate for 2000 was for 11.3m participants spending $1.475bn, representing a five-fold increase over the decade.


Whale watching is of particular importance to developing countries as coastal communities start to profit directly from the whales' presence, significantly adding to popular support for the full protection of these animals from any resumption of commercial whaling.


Today

Whale watching today is carried out from the water from crafts from kayaks, motorized rafts, and sailboats through to out-of-use fish or whaling boats and custom-built craft carrying as many as 400 people. Land-based watching of species such as the Orca who come very close to shore remains popular. Viewing of species that usually stay some distance from the shore is also offered by fixed-wing aircraft or helicopters in some areas. Image File history File links Information_icon. ... Wikibooks logo Wikibooks, previously called Wikimedia Free Textbook Project and Wikimedia-Textbooks, is a wiki for the creation of books. ... Binomial name Orcinus orca Linnaeus, 1758 Orca range (in blue) The Orca or Killer Whale (Orcinus orca) is the largest species of the oceanic dolphin family (Delphinidae). ...


Whale-watch trips may last one hour, two hours, half a day, a full day, two or three days, or on up to ten or fourteen days. You may spend as little as $7 or $8 per person for an hour-long trip or more than $3,000 for a two-week expedition with several stops. Vessels listed in this book include large excursion boats, small excursion boats, fishing boats, small motor craft, sailboats, motorized rafts, and sea kayaks.


Naturalists on Board


Some trips are strictly for pleasure, some are research oriented, and some successfully combine both elements. Many whale-watch tours are family-run businesses; some are sponsored by scientific institutions and research organizations. A word is in order about the nature of "naturalists" on board. The term generally refers to the person or persons who narrate the whale-watch trips, providing educational information about the whales, their behaviors and habitat, and about the other creatures that share the marine environment. Some naturalists are marine biologists or oceanographers. Some are affiliated with, and trained by, research organizations and scientific institutions. On some trips, narration is provided by knowledgeable captains, people who have been going to sea with whales for years and have made a point of educating themselves so they can answer passengers' questions correctly. On some trips where no narration is provided, tour operators show an educational video on whales and hand out written materials provided by whale conservation organizations. Probably it is unwise to judge a trip's worth based solely on whether or not a naturalist is on board.


Booking passage on a whale-watch trip -- with or without a naturalist -- is no reason not to educate yourself before you get on the boat. Many wonderful books about whales and whale biology are in print, available at libraries and bookstores all over the country.


Choosing a Trip


In any given area, the tour boats tend to go to the same places, sometimes staying in radio contact with one another in case someone sights whales that others have overlooked. For the most part, all whale-watch tour operators are infused with enthusiasm for the sport and are proud to be sharing the experience with their passengers. Cooperation among tour operators, rather than cutthroat competition, is most often the case. Therefore, if you're not particularly concerned about the size of the boat or the credentials of the naturalist, you might choose a trip that simply departs at a time convenient for you or that charges a fare that suits your budget. If you're a skeptic, seek out those tour operators who "guarantee" that you'll see a whale or they'll give you a free trip not an uncommon offer in those areas where whales are practically willing to keep appointments with tour operators, year after year. And if you can afford it and you're so inclined, sign up for more than one trip. Because of the nature of the beast, every trip is unique.


In some communities where whale watching is big business, local hotels and motels offer package deals, usually in the form of discount coupons for some tours. Check with tour operators about discounts.


Whale Waiting


Before you can do any whale watching, you will likely have to do some whale waiting. While you're waiting, watch the water's surface for flying fish, other marine mammals, or even shark fins. Confronted with a vast expanse of ocean, many people initially think that "there's nothing out there." But that's just not true. Everything is out there. A whole world is just beneath the water's surface, and if you watch carefully, you will see evidence of that world. Also, look up and meet assorted seabirds that you're not likely to see flying over landlocked cities.


En route to where whales are supposed to be, you can always scan the horizon, just in case a whale might have meandered into new territory. Whales are blissfully ignorant of our schedules and calendars and maps, and they often pop up when and where we least expect them. An experienced captain once assured me we were well past the area off British Columbia where orcas are sighted, and thirty minutes later, four tall dorsal fins came into view along the shore.


An orca spent a recent summer off Provincetown, Massachusetts, playing in the surf and delighting tourists and townspeople alike. Government officials actually met several times to determine what to do about the whale, which wasn't where it "should" have been at that time of year. Some gray whales appear to take a liking to the coast of Oregon, Washington and western Canada, and they spend twelve months in residence, rather than joining their species' annual trek between Alaska and Mexico.


Keep your eyes open and watch for that first thrilling sight of a whale spout against the horizon. One naturalist once described it as similar to a car radiator "blowing off steam"; after the steam subsides, look for a glimpse of what appears to be a shiny black stretch limo.


What You Won't See


What you can't expect is to see whales where you want them to be exactly when you want them to be there. This is nature, real life; not a multimillion-dollar theme park where every surprise is scheduled. Patience must rule the day. When you do see whales, you will realize they were worth the wait. Also, you will return to shore exhilarated, better educated about a fascinating animal, and more aware of what's at stake if we lose even one species to extinction.


Sometimes people are disappointed when they first see a whale spout. "That's it?" they say. "That little puff of steam that the wind blew away?" But when you've had a chance to do some whale watching, you will find out that each of the great whales has a distinctive spout. Literally a large roomful of air and mist is exhaled each time a whale breathes. If you're familiar with the height and shape of the different blows, and if the wind isn't too strong, and if you're facing the whale head on, sometimes you can tell exactly what sort of whale you're seeing even if you don't get a glimpse of the body or the dorsal fin or some other telltale sign. And sometimes, of course, you can't.


If you know what to expect, if you know that the great whales range in size from 45 to 90 or 100 feet and weigh as much as 1.5 tons per foot, you're less likely to be disappointed at the sight of a spout. If you know that a blue whale can weigh as much as thirty-two elephants or that a toddler could crawl through the arteries of any full-grown great whale or that a humpback's flipper is more than twice the height of the tallest person you know, then your sense of excitement about even a distant sighting will increase.


Chances are good -- guaranteed at some spots during certain times of year -- that you will see much more than a spout. Take binoculars, if you have them, to get a closer look at whales in the distance. If you don't have binoculars, don't despair. Most likely you won't need them.


What To Wear


Of course, no matter how close whales come to the boat, you can't watch them comfortably if you're not dressed appropriately. No matter how sunny and warm it is in town or even at the dock, once you're out on the water the temperature may be cooler by ten to twenty degrees. If the wind is blowing, it may be even chillier. Also, there is always the possibility that you will get wet, either from occasional spray or from the unanticipated rain cloud.


When you pack a backpack or tote for whale watching, put in the obligatory sunscreen, a hat or visor, a sweatshirt or sweater, and a waterproof windbreaker, poncho, or jacket. Earmuffs, mittens, and scarves may come in handy too. And if you forgo the gloves, remember to smear some sunscreen on your hands, even if they are the only part of you that is exposed. (Don't forget your ears!) Wear sunglasses, long pants or jeans, a comfortable shirt, socks, and rubber-soled shoes. Female whale watchers clad in dresses, pantyhose, and tasteful grown-up-lady shoes and whale watchers of both sexes in cutoffs and tank tops have a hard time staying on a spray-splashed deck long enough to enjoy the trip.


As you sail over the bounding main, you may be aware of how wild the ocean seems, how uncontrollable a force it is to reckon with. For most people, that's part of the thrill. If you're not accustomed to being at sea, or if you've never managed it comfortably, plant your feet firmly on the deck and keep your knees loose and slightly bent. That way, you're not fighting the motion --- and it's fun!


What To Bring


A camera is the obvious answer, and this from a person who has an album fully of fuzzy, out-of-focus pictures of whales and pictures of where whales just were. Unless you are a professional nature photographer accustomed to shooting from boats rocking gently (and not so) on the sea, you probably won't get professional-quality nature photos. However, you probably will get perfectly acceptable snapshots of tail flukes, dorsal fins, a flipper or two, and maybe even a whole whale at midbreach. And so you should bring your camera.


That said, it is also true that documenting whale behavior through a camera lens is not nearly as exciting as taking in the experience with all your senses turned up high. At some point, put down the camera and bring your mind's eye into sharp focus. Stare hard at the creature, noting the texture and color of its skin, any scars or scratches, the flash of baleen when it opens its mouth, the way the water streams down the ventral pleats under the whale's chin, or the places where barnacles are gathered. Listen to that most amazing sound when the whale breathes, the explosion of air and water that may well rain down upon you. Inhale deeply of the fresh air and taste the salt on your lips. Memorize the moment with your every pore, and it won't matter whether or not the photographs turn out.


Seasickness


Most whale-watching trips are suitable for almost everyone, from the exceptionally sea hardy to those who rely on pills or patches to stave off the possibility of motion sickness. Trips to the Farallon Islands off San Francisco are particularly rigorous; the outings within the confines of Depoe Bay off the coast of Oregon can be remarkably calm. Otherwise, you pay your money and you take your chances -- and chances are you'll be just fine. One note of caution: In order for motion sickness pills to be effective, you must take them at least thirty minutes before you board the boat. After you've put out to sea (or worse, started feeling bad), it's too late to take a pill, so be sure to swallow yours in time. Dramamine makes most people sleepy; Bonine makes only some people sleepy. Both are available over the counter.


Medicated patches, worn behind the ear, are generally effective if they don't cause a reaction and make the wearer sick. Ginger has a reputation for preventing motion sickness, and is available in capsule form at most health food stores. On a positive note, even the queasiest passengers feel better when the whales show up. Of course, many people who take no precautions at all never become seasick. Please don't stay home because you are worried that you might get sick -- after all, you might not. If you do start to feel uncomfortable, stay outside in the open air, keep your eyes on the horizon, and breathe deeply. Nibble on plain soda crackers; sip ginger ale. Stave off panic by thinking about anything except being sick. If none of that works, comfort yourself with the thought that everyone, even experienced sailors, gets seasick at least once.


Children


Few children under age five enjoy being confined on a boat for an extended period of time. As for older children, please take into consideration the individual child's behavior in public, level of intellectual curiosity, and need for unrestricted space. If you do decide to bring along a young child, tell him or her what to expect on the expedition and what behavior will be expected.


Regulation

Environmental campaigners, concerned by what they consider the "quick-buck" mentality of some boat owners, continue to strongly urge all whale watcher operators to contribute to local regulations governing whale watching (no international standard set of regulations exist because of the huge variety of species and populations). Common rules include:

  • Minimize speed/"No wake" speed
  • Avoid sudden turns
  • Minimize noise
  • Do not pursue, encircle or come in between whales
  • Approach animals from angles where they won't be taken by surprise
  • Consider cumulative impact - minimize number of boats at any one time/per day
  • Do not coerce dolphins into bow-riding.
  • Do not allow swimming with dolphins. This last rule is more contentious and is often disregarded in, for example, the Caribbean.

(Source: WDCS) West Indian redirects here. ... The Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society (WDCS) is the most prominent environmental organization that dedicates itself to conservation and welfare of all whales, dolphins and porpoises. ...


Almost all popular whale watching regions now have such regulations. Campaigners hope that a combination of peer pressure, the economic benefit of being advertised and promoted by ethical tourism operators and operators' own passion for marine wildlife forces them to adhere to such regulations. Ecotourism essentially means ecological tourism, where ecological has both environmental and social connotations. ...


Locations

Around the world, whale watching can be had in various locations and climates. By area, they are:


Northeast Atlantic

Much of Europe is surrounded by water. Tidal straits, inlets, lagoons, and varying water temperatures, make it ideal for various species to live here from the Arctic Circle to the warm waters off of Greece. Whales are seen in good numbers off the coast of Britain, Ireland, Iceland, Scandinavia, Spain, and France. Commercial car ferries crossing the Bay of Biscay from Britain and Ireland to Spain and France often pass by animals as large as blue whales and as small as pods of harbor porpoise and land based tours of these waters are not unheard of. In Northern Norway, Orcas are observed in Vestfjord, Tysfjord and Ofotfjord in Nordland as the herring gathers in the fjords to stay over the winter as well as being observed off the Lofoten islands during the summer. At Andenes on Andøya in Vesterålen, sperm whales can be observed all year round, although whale watching trips are only offered from May till September. The continental shelf [Eggakanten] and deep water where the sperm whales congregate, is very close to shore, beginning only 7000m from the Andenes harbour. Scandinavia is a historical and geographical region centered on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe. ... Map of the Bay of Biscay. ... Binomial name Balaenoptera musculus Linneus, 1758 Blue Whale range The Blue Whale (Balaenoptera musculus) is a mammal which belongs to the baleen whales suborder. ... Binomial name Phocoena phocoena Linnaeus, 1758 Harbour Porpoise range The Harbour Porpoise (Phocoena phocoena) is one of six species of porpoise, and so one of about eighty cetacean species. ... In norwegian: Nord-Norge meaning Northern Norway. ... Binomial name Orcinus orca Linnaeus, 1758 Orca range (in blue) The Orca or Killer Whale (Orcinus orca) is the largest species of the oceanic dolphin family (Delphinidae). ... Vestfjord is a Norwegian fjord, which would be described as a firth or an open bight of sea between the Lofoten archipelago and mainland Norway, northwest of Bodø. The term fjord (from the old Norse fjördr meaning firth or inlet) is used more generally for bodies of water in... The municipality Tysfjord in the county of Nordland, Norway, has 2,283 inhabitants as of January 1, 2002. ... Ofotfjorden. ... County NO-18 Region Nord-Norge Administrative centre Bodø County mayor   Area  - Total  - Percentage Ranked 2 38,456 km² 11. ... Species Clupea alba Clupea bentincki Clupea caspiopontica Clupea chrysotaenia Clupea elongata Clupea halec Clupea harengus Clupea inermis Clupea leachii Clupea lineolata Clupea minima Clupea mirabilis Clupea pallasii Clupea sardinacaroli Clupea sulcata Herrings are small oily fish of the genus Clupea found in the temperate, shallow waters of the North Atlantic... Fjord in Sunnmøre, Norway A fjord (or fiord) is a narrow inlet of the sea between cliffs or steep slopes, which results from marine inundation of a glaciated valley. ... Andenes is a small town in the the municipality Andøy in the county of Nordland, Norway, and had 5,549 inhabitants as of January 1, 2002. ... County Nordland Landscape VesterÃ¥len Municipality NO-1871 Administrative centre Andenes Mayor (2005) Jonni Helge Solsvik (H) Official language form Neutral Area  - Total  - Land  - Percentage Ranked 169 656 km² 616 km² 0. ... Location of VesterÃ¥len VesterÃ¥len is a district in the county Nordland in Norway, just north of Lofoten. ... Binomial name Physeter macrocephalus Linnaeus, 1758 Sperm Whale range (in blue) The Sperm Whale (Physeter macrocephalus) is the largest of all toothed whales and is the largest toothed animal alive, measuring up to 18 metres (60 ft) long, as well as being the largest known predator ever to exist, apart... Binomial name Physeter macrocephalus Linnaeus, 1758 Sperm Whale range (in blue) The Sperm Whale (Physeter macrocephalus) is the largest of all toothed whales and is the largest toothed animal alive, measuring up to 18 metres (60 ft) long, as well as being the largest known predator ever to exist, apart... Andenes is a small town in the the municipality Andøy in the county of Nordland, Norway, and had 5,549 inhabitants as of January 1, 2002. ...


Northeast Pacific

On the West Coast of the United States and Canada, excellent whale watching can be found in Alaska (summer), British Columbia, and the San Juan Islands/Puget Sound in Washington, where pods of orca are even sometimes visible from shore. In California good whalewatching can be found in spring, summer, and fall at the Farallon Islands off San Francisco, Monterey Bay, the usual suspects including humpbacks, greys, and blue whales. The west coast of Mexico including Baja California is an area known for its grey whale calving as well, and tourists flock here to witness mothers with their very large and inquisitve babies. Official language(s) English Capital Sacramento Largest city Los Angeles Area  Ranked 3rd  - Total 158,302 sq mi (410,000 km²)  - Width 250 miles (400 km)  - Length 770 miles (1,240 km)  - % water 4. ... Binomial name Megaptera novaeangliae (Borowski, 1781) Humpback Whale range The Humpback Whale, Megaptera novaeangliae, is a mammal which belongs to the baleen whale suborder. ... Binomial name Eschrichtius robustus Lilljeborg, 1861 Gray Whale range The Gray Whale (Eschrichtius robustus) is a whale which travels between feeding and breeding grounds yearly. ... Binomial name Balaenoptera musculus (Linnaeus, 1758) Blue Whale range The Blue Whale (Balaenoptera musculus) is a marine mammal belonging to the suborder of baleen whales. ...


Southwest Pacific

Kaikoura in New Zealand is a world-famous site for whales (in particular Sperm Whales) and Albatrosses. Kaikoura is a town on the east coast of the South Island of New Zealand. ... Binomial name Physeter macrocephalus Linnaeus, 1758 Sperm Whale range (in blue) The Sperm Whale (Physeter macrocephalus) is the largest of all toothed whales and is the largest toothed animal alive, measuring up to 18 metres (60 ft) long, as well as being the largest known predator ever to exist, apart... Genera Diomedea Thalassarche Phoebastria Phoebetria Albatrosses, of the biological family Diomedeidae, are large seabirds allied to the procellariids, storm-petrels and diving-petrels in the order Procellariiformes (the tubenoses). ...


Hervey Bay in Queensland, Australia offers reliable whale watching conditions for Southern Humpback Whales from the beginning of August through to the end of November each year. Whale numbers and activity have increased markedly in recent years. Sydney, Eden, Port Stephens and Byron Bay in New South Wales are other popular hot spots for tours from May to November. Hervey Bay is a rapidly growing resort city in south eastern Queensland, Australia. ... Capital Brisbane Government Constitutional monarchy Governor Quentin Bryce Premier Peter Beattie (ALP) Federal representation  - House seats 28  - Senate seats 12 Gross State Product (2004-05)  - Product ($m)  $158,506 (3rd)  - Product per capita  $40,170/person (6th) Population (June Quarter Released Statistics 2006)  - Population  4,053,444 (3rd)  - Density  2. ... Binomial name Megaptera novaeangliae (Borowski, 1781) Humpback Whale range The Humpback Whale, Megaptera novaeangliae, is a mammal which belongs to the baleen whale suborder. ... The Sydney Opera House on Sydney Harbour Sydney (pronounced ) is the most populous city in Australia with a metropolitan area population of over 4. ... Eden (postcode 2551. ... Harbour Entrance Port Stephens is a large coastal inlet, located about 190 kilometers north of Sydney. ... Tallow Beach looking south from the lighthouse the Byron Bay Lighhouse, providing a nice shade. ... Capital Sydney Government Const. ...


Southern Right Whales are seen in winter (June-August) along the south coast of Australia. They are often readily viewed from the coast around Encounter Bay near Victor Harbor and up to a hundred at a time may be seen from the cliff tops at the head of the Great Australian Bight near Yalata. Also, in the midle of the Atlantic Northeast, in the Azores Arquipelago whale watching can be easily done. The most common whale in the region is the sperm whale, speacily groups of females with calves, that come near Azores. Species  Balaena mysticetus  Eubalaena australis  Eubalaena glacialis  Eubalaena japonica Northern Right Whale range Southern Right Whale range The right whales are marine mammals belonging to the family Balaenidae. ... Encounter Bay is located on the south coast of Australia. ... Rosetta Head, colloquially known as The Bluff, is one of the popular tourist attractions in the town. ... The Great Australian Bight is a large bight, or open bay, encompassing an area of the Southern Ocean located off the central and western portions of the southern coastline of mainland Australia. ... Yalata () [1] is the main settlement of the Yalata indigenous Australians. ...


Northwest Atlantic

In New England and off the east coast of Long Island, the whale watching season typically takes place from about mid-spring through October, depending both on weather and precise location. It is here that the Northern Humpback Whale, Fin Whale, Minke Whale, and the very endangered Northern Right Whale are often observed. For generations, areas like the Gulf of Maine and Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary ( part of the inner waters formed by Cape Cod's hooked shape) have been important feeding grounds for these species and in the past this area was a whaling capital for the U.S. whaling industry, particularly the island of Nantucket. Though strict laws prohibit the molestation of these large wild mammals, it is not unknown for the whales to approach the boats entirely on their own, particularly calves and juveniles. In recent years it is also not uncommon from time to time to see these huge animals playing and feeding in harbors of large cities, including New York. This article is about the region in the United States of America. ... Map showing Long Island; to the north is Connecticut and to the west are New York City and New Jersey. ... Binomial name Megaptera novaeangliae (Borowski, 1781) Humpback Whale range The Humpback Whale, Megaptera novaeangliae, is a mammal which belongs to the baleen whale suborder. ... Binomial name Balaenoptera physalus (Linneus, 1758) Fin Whale range The Fin Whale (Balaenoptera physalus), also called the Finback Whale, is a mammal which belongs to the baleen whales suborder. ... Binomial name Balaenoptera acutorostrata Lacepede, 1804 Balaenoptera bonaerensis Burmeister, 1867 Minke Whale range Antarctic Minke Whale range Dwarf Minke Whale range The Minke Whale or Lesser Rorqual is a marine mammal belonging to the suborder of baleen whales. ... It has been suggested that Balaenidae be merged into this article or section. ... Gulf of Maine The Gulf of Maine is a large gulf of the Atlantic Ocean on the northeastern coast of North America, roughly between Cape Cod in Massachusetts on the south and Cape Sable Island on the southern tip of Nova Scotia to the northeast. ... Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary is an 842-square-mile (638-square-nautical-mile) federally protected marine sanctuary located at the mouth of Massachusetts Bay, between Cape Cod and Cape Ann. ... Cape Cod (or simply the Cape) is an arm-shaped peninsula forming the easternmost portion of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, in the Northeastern United States. ... Nantucket is an island south of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, formed of glacial moraine. ... NY redirects here. ...


In Canada, a popular whale-watching area is at Tadoussac, Quebec, where Beluga Whales favour the extreme depth and admixture of cold fresh water from the Saguenay River into the inland end of the Gulf of Saint Lawrence. In addition, the Maritimes shares a population of humpbacks Living in the bay of Fundy, during the summer and moving South and out in to the Ocean during the winter. Tadoussac was Frances first trading post on the mainland of New France (now in Quebec, Canada). ... This article refers to the whale, beluga. ... The Saguenay River is a major river of Quebec, Canada. ... Bathymetry of the Gulf, with the Laurentian Channel visible Gulf of Saint Lawrence (French: golfe du Saint-Laurent), the worlds largest estuary, is the outlet of North Americas Great Lakes via the Saint Lawrence River into the Atlantic Ocean. ...


Southwest Atlantic

In Brazil, humpback whales are observed off Salvador in Bahia State and at the National Marine Park of Abrolhos during their breeding season in austral winter and spring. Likewise, Southern Right Whales are observed from shore in Santa Catarina State during the same season, as mother/calf pairs can come as close to shore as 30 meters (about 100 feet). Income from whale watching has bolstered many a coastal community in Brazil and has made the township if Imbituba, Santa Catarina, recognized as a Brazilian "whale capital".


Africa

In South Africa, the town of Hermanus is one of the world centers for whale watching. During the winter months (July-October) Southern Right Whales come so close to the Cape shoreline that visitors can watch whales from their hotels. The town employs a "whale crier" (cf town crier) to walk through the town announcing where whales have been seen. Cliffs with whale watchers seen from the old harbour. ... Species  Balaena mysticetus, Bowhead Whale  Eubalaena australis, Southern Right Whale  Eubalaena glacialis, Atlantic Northern Right Whale  Eubalaena japonica, Pacific Northern Right Whale Northern Right Whale range Southern Right Whale range The right whales are marine mammals belonging to the family Balaenidae, which contains four species in two genera: Eubalaena — three... The town Crier in Yate, near Bristol, England A town crier is a person who is employed by a town council to make public announcements in the streets. ...


Southeast Indian

In Western Australia, whales are watched not far from Cape Leeuwin and Cape Naturaliste. Capital Perth Government Constitutional monarchy Governor Ken Michael Premier Alan Carpenter (ALP) Federal representation  - House seats 15  - Senate seats 12 Gross State Product (2004-05)  - Product ($m)  $100,900 (4th)  - Product per capita  $50,355/person (3rd) Population (December 2006)  - Population  2,050,900 (4th)  - Density  0. ... Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse, Western Australia The most south-westerly mainland point of the Australian Continent, in the state of Western Australia. ... Cape Naturaliste Is a headland, and lighthouse location in the south west region of Western Australia The source of the name (and northern most point of) of the Leeuwin-Naturaliste Ridge, and the Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park and also the Cape to Cape walk track. ...


Whaling and whale watching

All three of the current major whaling nations (Norway, Japan and Iceland) have large and growing whale watching industries. Indeed Iceland had the fastest-growing whale watching industry in the world between 1994 and 1998.


Many conservationists now espouse the economic argument that a whale is worth more alive and watched than dead in order to try to persuade the governments of whaling nations to curtail whaling activities. The correctness of this argument is the subject of much debate at the International Whaling Commission, particularly since argue about the whaling countries the 'scarcity' of whale meat which supposedly has caused it to become a luxury item, increasing its value. However, whale meat markets have collapsed and in Japan the government keeps its flow artificially through subsidies and whale meat distribution in schools and other forms of whale meat promotion. In 1997 2,000 tonnes of whale meat were sold for $30m - a single 10 tonne Minke Whale would thus have been worth $150,000. There is no agreement as to how to value a single animal to the whale watching industry, though it is probably much higher. It is possible to construct arguments that 'prove' a single whale is worth either much more or much less than this figure. However, it is clear from most coastal communities that are involved in whale watching that profits can be made and are more horizontally distributed throughout the community than if the animals were killed by a whaling industry. International Whaling Commission Logo The International Whaling Commission (IWC) was set up by the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling (ICRW)[1] on December 2, 1946 to promote and maintain whale fishery stocks. ... Binomial name Balaenoptera acutorostrata Lacepede, 1804 Balaenoptera bonaerensis Burmeister, 1867 Minke Whale range Antarctic Minke Whale range Dwarf Minke Whale range The Minke Whale or Lesser Rorqual is a marine mammal belonging to the suborder of baleen whales. ...


Upon the resumption of whaling in Iceland in August 2003, pro-whaling groups, such as fishermen who argue that increased stocks of whales are depleting fish populations, suggested that sustainable whaling and whale watching could live side-by-side. Whale watching lobbyists, such as Húsavík Whale Museum curator Asbjorn Bjorgvinsson, counter that the most inquistive whales, which approach boats very closely and provide much of the entertainment on whale-watching trips, will be the first to be killed by whalers. Pro-whaling organisations such as the High North Alliance on the other hand, have said that whale watching is not profitable and that some whale-watching companies in Iceland are surviving only because they receive funding from anti-whaling organisations (statement from the HNA on the issue). Disambiguation, see also Húsavík, Faroe Islands Location in Iceland County Suður-Þingeyjarsýsla Constituency Northeast Area 270 km² ( 104. ... The High North Alliance is an umbrella organisation of several fishing, whaling and Nordic municipal councils. ...


Conservation aspects

The rapid growth of the number of whale watching trips and the size of vessel used to watch whales has led to concerns that whale behaviour, migatory patterns and breeding cycles make be affected. There is now strong evidence that whalewatching can significantly affect the biology and ecology of whales and dolphins. Unfortunately management responses are lagging far behind the rapid growth of the sector and much is needed to improve the sustainability of whalewatching in most locations in the world.


Orca calls off Washington

Writing in Nature in April 2004, scientists from the University of Durham working off the coast of Washington in the northwest United States discovered that Orca are increasing the length of their calls to make themselves heard to each other above the din of boat engine noise. The research examined the length of the whales' calls between 1977 and 1981, 1989 and 1992 and 2001 and 2003. They found that whilst the call length had not changed much between the first two surveys, the third survey saw, at times of day when environmental noise exceeded a certain threshold, the Orca increasing the length of their calls by about 15% in an apparent effort to make themselves heard. First title page, November 4, 1869 Nature is one of the oldest and most reputable scientific journals, first published on 4 November 1869. ... Durham University is a university in England. ... This article deals with the U.S. state. ... Binomial name Orcinus orca Linnaeus, 1758 Orca range (in blue) The Orca or Killer Whale (Orcinus orca) is the largest species of the oceanic dolphin family (Delphinidae). ...


The researchers commented that this was in one sense a positive sign - Orca able to adapt to their environment rapidly. However, populations of Orca in the area have fallen since a survey in 1996 and concern remains that the whale watching boats, and private boats that follow them that are less likely to follow local conservation guidelines, are causing intolerable environment stress to the creatures.


References

    • Encyclopedia of Marine Mammals, editors Perrin, Wursig and Thewissen, ISBN 0-12-551340-2. In particular the article Whale watching by Erich Hoyt.
    • Whale watching 2001: Worldwide tourism numbers, expenditures and expanding socioeconomic benefits, Erich Hoyt, ISBN 1-901002-09-8 .
    • Whale watching, Discovery Travel Adventures Insight guide. ISBN 1-56331-836-9 .
    • The Whale Watcher's Guide: Whale-watching Trips in North America, Patricia Corrigan, ISBN 1-55971-683-5 .
    • Whales and Whale Watching in Iceland, Mark Carwardine, ISBN 9979-51-129-X .
    • On the Trail of the Whale, Mark Carwardine, ISBN 1-899074-00-7

    External links


      Results from FactBites:
     
    The World-Wide Web Virtual Library: Whale-Watching Web (239 words)
    Whale watching as a commercial activity began in 1955 in North America along the southern California coast.
    Today, whale watching is carried on in the waters of some 40 countries, plus Antarctica.
    Whale watching is a non-consumptive use of whales with economic, recreational, educational and scientific dimensions.
    The World-Wide Web Virtual Library: Whale-Watching Web (239 words)
    Whale watching as a commercial activity began in 1955 in North America along the southern California coast.
    Today, whale watching is carried on in the waters of some 40 countries, plus Antarctica.
    Whale watching is a non-consumptive use of whales with economic, recreational, educational and scientific dimensions.
      More results at FactBites »

     
     

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